Monday, March 28, 2016

03/28/16 Group Email

Happy Easter! Easter was wonderful.  We had a really amazing sacrament meeting and the spirit was so strong.  We also had a potential investigator come and stay for all three hours... yay! Hopefully things will work out super well with her.  

So a cool little fruits of our labors that we saw... A couple weeks ago, we were walking around and found this kid named Humberto. We found him because he was blasting spanish music and his front door was open.  WELL, fast forward a couple weeks, and because we knocked on his door, he decided to get in touch with the YSA and now wants to be baptized.  So cool! As a missionary, you talk to so many people and you don't always know why or what comes from your conversations, but it was really cool to hear that Humberto took it as a sign, and is now getting baptized in a week! 

So kind of a gross story... last pday, we were playing volleyball.  This big ol Samoan served it, and I put my right hand up and caught the serve on my wrist.  It didn't hurt too bad, but I looked down and my ENTIRE vein was popping out of my arm a good inch or so... it was the most disgusting thing I have ever seen.  I honestly looked like a monster! haha It was so gross! And I kind of went into panic because I didn't know what to do and I started freaking out.  Well, Elder Misiluki came over and after a bit of arguing, I let him take my wrist, and with the volleyball, he SQUISHED my popped vein back into my body. It was so nasty.  OH so gross! And I've had a killer bruise this entire past week and all my veins got smashed so I can't see anything. My wrist is just all yellow, blue, purplish.  But they said to just let it be and they'll eventaully grow back... haha, well okay! Hopefully they come back eventaully, because probably not too good to be missing the portal of blood flow down into your fingers! But oh well, I'm living so the work will go on 

Super cool lesson we had on Saturday. We felt like we should stop by this less active Adriana.  We went in and shared the Easter video with her and she was blown away.. she said that today (saturday) her Mom would have turned 74.  She said she had been thinking a lot about her and how she missed her and she was thinking about the next life and things like that.  And she looked right at us and said "and out of all the days, you knocked my door today." Ah it was so cool! I felt the spirit so strongly! The Lord guides us to who we need to visit, on which days. 

On Friday, we had a pretty sad lesson.  One of our dear Less Actives that we have been visitng for forever, was in the hospital due to some pretty sad things that were going on in her life.  We left and just felt down.. her trial was literally weighing on our shoulders.  We headed over to our dinner and ate with the Family Hinojosa from Peru.  It was our first time eating with them, and when they opened the door, all of them were standing right there and they hugged us and shook our hands and welcomed us into their home.. that does not happen! Usually someone will just open the door, we'll head on it and the family will be hanging out.  But with this family, we walked in and we instantly felt like gold! We were talking to this sweet old couple (he reminds me of grandpa Robert... just so cute and little:) and I just looked at them while they were telling us the story of how they met, and tears just came to my eyes.  I realized that even though Missionary work is sooo hard sometimes, with everyone's trials and all the things going on in people's lives that they talk to us about, there are so many good families.   There are sweet families like the Hinojosa's who are so loving and because they found the missionaries, they are so happy.  It was a really good tender mercy that both Hermana Allphin and I needed :) 

This week I finished reading the Book of Mormon with our mission (in English), the Book of Mormon (in Spanish), and the four gospels (In Spanish).  I don't know how it all ended up being finished in the same week, but it was very cool! The scriptures are the best and I learned so much from everything that I read. They truly are the word of God.

Well we have a couple potencials we are meeting this week, so hopefully everything goes well and we pick up some solid investigators! Love you all! Happy Spring!

Amor, Hermana Dean    

03/28/16 Pictures

Walking the sketchy allies of Canada
Oly verse Alta - Elder Farnsworth  
Easter Sunday
Missionaries in the ward, Hermano Fernando 

Monday, March 21, 2016

03/21/16 Group Email

This week was awesome! A lot of meetings as STL.  We had Zone Conference, which lasts all day, and it was amazing.  About the Atonement.  A couple days before zc I was thinking "shoot... they are going to have a testimony meeting at the end of zc and I need to bear my testimony." It hit me like lighting that I needed to bear my testimony.  So the conference was coming to close and they opened it up to have a short testimony meeting.  After a couple people went, I got up and bore it.  It was short and sweet (lots of tears... my goodness I cannot bear my testimony in English; that's why I had to be called Spanish speaking) but it was really neat because I realized that I had learned from myself! I have the strongest testimony of Jose Smith... like that man saw Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father... there is NO doubt in my mind.  His story is the rock of my testimony.  But I've always kind of struggled with the Atonement.  I know it's real and that it happened, but dang out here in the mission field, you doubt a lot and question a lot of things.  So as of late, that was something I wast thinking about. How the Atonement happened.  So while I was up there bearing testimony, I bore the strongest testimony of Joseph Smith.  And then I started saying "and because Joseph Smith was a true prophet, the book of mormon is true.  And because the book of mormon is true, Jesus Christ lives and the Atonement happened." And it all just hit me all at once! Because I know the Joseph Smith is a prophet, I know the Atonement truly happened and is there for us to use! I sat down and everything just made perfect sense.  It was so cool! Something I've learned out here: Whatever you are doubting, BEAR TESTIMONY OF IT.  

Hermano and Hermana Perez.. the sweet old couple from Spain.  We went over and I taught him out to cook chicken enchiladas (which I was very impressed because I don't know how to cook...) but I just kind of went with it, acted like I knew what I was doing, and they turned out really yummy! (S/O to my college roommates for forcing me to cook last year so I didn't starve) But my favorite part, was after everything was finished, and we were sharing the message.  We shared this video ( and were talking about Jesus Christ (we do that a lot as missionaries, haha) but Hermano looked me right in the eyes and said, ever so simply "Yo se que jesucristo existe" and WOW i have never felt the spirit so strongly.  It just all clicked for me.... simple as that: Jesus Christ exists.  He's there.  He's a person, with a body.  And then to make things even cooler! The following morning, I was reading in Moroni 10 verse 7 which says "Y por el poder del Espiritu Santo prodreis saber que el existe" Through the power of the Holy Spirit, you will be able to know that He exists.  And holy! The spirit was basically screaming at me "He exists! Jesus Christ exists!" I was just blown away that I would read that exact verse, the day after Hermano Perez testified of that.  Almost word for word! IT WAS SO COOL.  

Now that I had built up my testimony super strong..... we were knocking some doors up in an area where we got a Spanish referral... we were about to get in the car and I just say "ah let's just do this last one." this man from India opens it... IMMEDIATELY starts Bible Bashing us.  Like hard core.  It was crazy! BUT -- Hermana Allphin and I KILLED IT.  I'll say it, we were so classy and everything we said had so.much.power! He was just rambling not making any sense, we were both trying not to bust up, because he was honestly speaking jibber jabber.  He was telling us we didn't believe in the bible, that we didn't believe in Jesus Christ.. which when he said that, I pulled my tag up off my shirt and said "Are you kdiding? if we don't believe in Jesus Christ, why is His name right here on our name tag? We are the church of JESUS CHRIST..." and then he said, " well tell me about Joseph Smith then?" And ooooh man you don't ever question Joseph Smith! So I pulled out some good doctrine and said "If "God is the same yesterday, today and forever" why would he call prophets in the olden days and not today?" Now that made him stop and think.  But ah it just went on and on, but it was such a testimony builder for me! I learned soooo much.  As this crazy Indian man was making no sense, everything about our church; our doctrine, what we do, our prophets, our book of mormon, was falling into place, and making so much sense.  We honestly do the exact same things that Jesus Christ did while he was on the earth.  I will just never understand how people don't believe in our church!

So after those three experiences this week, I learned so much! Jesus Christ lives.  He was resurrected.  He created His church when He was on the earth, and it has been restored today.  I have such a testimony of Him! I love Him and I love doing His work.  
Happy Easter!!

Hermana Dean   

03/21/16 Pictures

 Four of the Sisters we cover as stls
 Sister Lyu from Taiwan 
Only the best Canadian sign I've ever seen  
I taught Hermano Perez how to cook chicken enchiladas!!! I was very proud of myself :) 
 Hermano Fernando
Zone Conference - Calgary North Zone
 Sister Miles

Monday, March 14, 2016

03/14/16 Group Email

Another great week out here doing the work! 

It's been a little slower.. a LOT of finding; knocking doors, talking to everyone on the street, asking EVERYONE if they know anyone who speaks Spanish.  It's been good though! The weather has been just wonderful. The sun doesn't go down at 4:30 anymore, which is the best haha.  Something my companion and I have been doing to keep ourselves laughing, is while we knock doors or contact, we give each other a word to say.. oh man, I have never laughed so hard! She gave me the word "shoes" as we went up to knock this door and this Aisan woman who didn't speak a word of English opened.. We tried to explain who we were, but she was so lost.  So I just told her, "I like your shoes!" And walked away.  Hermana Allphin lost it! She was laughing so hard.. She said "She wasn't even wearing shoes!!" I just told her "I know!" haha. Another word I had was toenail... a little bit harder... but luckily I got another Asian who didn't speak English! And I was able to tell her I had stubbed my toenail and needed a bandaid.. but she didn't understand either.  But oh man, we have had some funny experiences with this game. It's the little things that keep us going haha 

A member gave us our dinner to go, so we took it to the chapel and were eating it. It smelt... very fishy.  But lo que sea, we ate it anyways.  We finished cleaning up and Hermano Fernando came in and I asked if he had eaten, he said no, so we heated it up and served him.  I asked him what it was... "Pulpo" he responds.. I DIED.  Octopus.  We are NOT used to eating weird stuff like that up here in Canada.. no no no we are not.  At first I didn't believe him so I started to inspect his food.. He pulled up a fork full of rice, and sure enough, I saw three leg things, or whatever they are, with the little suction cups and everything.  I was so shocked. He just laughed and laughed at me hahaa.  

We had a lesson with Raul and Teresa - it went well! They have a lot of questions, but questions are good.  We're slowly working with them, and hope they start progressing soon! Bryan is doing oh so good.  He got his temple recommend, all on his own I might add, on Sunday and is super excited to go do baptisms.  Other than that, a lot of finding! Pray for us to find a spanish family this week!  Love you all

Xoxo Hermana Dean 

Monday, March 7, 2016

03/07/16 Group Email

This week was... tough! Changes are always rough, but Hermana Allphin is so stoked to be here and we're gonna do such great things together this transfer, I'm super excited! She and I are STLs: Sister Training Leaders, which took us by a huge surprise because they don't have spanish stls... but it'll be a super fun adventure and I will keep you updated on all the fun things we get to do! 

So this past week, we were driving around, I was trying to remember how to get to this specific house, and we ended up in the wrong part of the neighborhood.  Well as we were driving I told Hermana to keep her eyes peeled for anything Spanish.. right as I said that she was like "There!" So we pulled over and sure enough saw boxing gloves around the rearview mirror of the car that said "juventud" haha and if that doesn't give it away I dont' know what does! So we walked up, this big guy from Honduras answered and said we could come back! Sweet! We start driving back up the street and both just feel like we should park the car and start walking around.  So we start walking down the street knocking the houses that appeared Hispanic.  First house: Christmas lights, beat up truck... he was from Mexico.  Second house: Christmas lights, windchime with a dolphin... she was from Guatemala.  Third house: Boxing gloves, big sun on the door... He was from Honduras.  Fourth house: We were walking past this one house with the door wide open and all of a sudden hear... Spanish music. .. He was from Mexico. But his story was craaaazy! We walk up and poke our heads in the door and yell "Hola" and he runs over and tells us "oh come in come in!" long story short, he's 21 from mexico who has been going to ysa with his friend and WANTS TO GET BAPTIZED SOON.  Whaaaat! He said he hasn't been meeting with the missionaries because he didn't know where to find them... ahhh it was crazy! We walked away with our mouths wide open, it was so nuts.  I must say, I have gotten pretty dang good at catching the clues of the Hispanic houses! 

SO... our neighbors who live above us went back to their country for three weeks.  They left on Wednesday.  It was been oh so lovely without their little boy driving his toy car above our heads all morning long while we study haha.  Friday night rolls around, I'm dead asleep.  It's 11:23 and I wake up to Hermana Allphin saying "um are the neighbors out of town??" AND THEN I HEAR FOOT STEPS WALKING AROUND ABOVE MY HEAD AND OPENING AND CLOSING DRAWERS.  I have never jumped out of my bed so fast... I FLEW out of my bed, grabbed the phone and we both sprinted to the bathroom! I can honestly say I have never been so scared in my entire life.  My heart was pounding out of my chest.  We stood there, listening to people above us, going through things, praying that they wouldn't come downstairs! And then they left and we didnt' hear anything else.  We waited in the bathroom for a good 10 minutes, not breathing, and finally got the courage to go back out.  I guess we're not the smartest people because we just went back to bed hahaha. The following day while we were setting up the baptism, we told the Elders what had happened and they looked right at us and said in their "are you kidding me????" kind of tone, "You just went back to bed? You didn't call the police or anything?" Then we realized we probably should have done something about it.... hahaha, so we went over and talked to the neighbors and found out the neighbor was feeding the cat.... but oh my goodness we had no clue!! Scariest moment of my life. But so glad to find out they didn't get robbed.  

Yesterday Hermano Perez came to church.  He's the cute old man that I send a lot of pictures of.  Him and his wife, they're from Spain and are 85 and so cute.  Hermana has alzheimers... which is the saddest thing ever.  She doesn't remember anything. She'll ask Hermano if he is her dad, where they are, why here Mom isn't living with them, who she is.  It is the saddest thing.. breaks my heart.  Well yesterday Hermano got up and bore his testimony and it was the sweetest thing I have ever heard.  I just bawled through the entire thing. I had big ol alligator tears rolling down my cheeks, it was so sad! He just expressed how much love he has for his wife and how all those years they had together, he always thought they would be able to sit down and talk about their memories..but they can't.  ah it was so sad! But wow it strengthened my testimony of how families are forever.  Heavenly Father loves us so much, he gave us the opportunity to live with our families for eternity.  The best gift we could ever have! 

The work is going great here.. keeping our eyes out for all the "spanish-looking" clues we can find! Have a good week! Pray that nobody comes into our house this week and freaks the heck outta me!

Abrazos - 
Hermana Dean 

03/07/16 Pictures

Hermano Fernando 
Angel from Cuba.. he was baptized on Saturday! I almost died when he walked into the room in his head to toe white clothing haha he's the best! Elder Farnsworth and Fitzgerald have been teaching him 
The new Hermana! Hermana Shneibly!
Las Hermanas!
Sister Jakoby (Companions when we traveled here)
The struggle to get the perfect picture haha - La familia Moreno
Sopes.. my favorite food EVER
La familia Fernando

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

02/29/16 Group Email

SUCH a good week....

So.. Carol and Alfonzo from Mexico.  They got invited to church by the family Caldera; they came, we visited them, they legit disappeared.  We stopped by, left a note on their door, stopped by a week later, the note was still there. We come to find out, they had went back to Mexico.  We pretty much gave up, because of their financial circumstance, we thought they were back in Mexico for good.  WELL, we get a text from the Elders that says "GUESS WHO WE ARE TALKING TO RIGHT NOW" ... it was Alfonzo.  He had called them to get information about something, and told them that they were back in Canada!! YAY! So that day, we were over in the West Zone area and were driving to a potential's house.  As we were driving, I flash backed to four months ago when Hermana Ratliff and I were in this area and I had noticed a house that could be potential Spanish.  I told myself, "oh we'll stop by after we knock the first door" but then a voice clear as day came to my head and told me "Timing matters." Which kinda freaked me out, like what does that mean?? But I followed the prompting and told Hermana Morgan I felt that we should knock this door that I saw four months ago first.  We knocked it... some kid who was like 12 that was white haha. I was kinda bummed and still didn't know why we needed to knock his door first.  We drive over to the other street, park, pray, get out and are walking toward the potential house... when we see Hermano Caldera crossing the street.  We say hi to him, but don't chat for long because we had just recently visited him and his family.  We continue walking and I swear to you, another voice came to mind and said "tell him that Carol and Alfonzo are in town" so okay I immediatly turn around and run back over to him and tell him to let his wife know that Carol and Alfonzo are back in town.  As soon as I told him that, I felt so much peace.  Fast forward a couple hours to 8:45 at night... we are wrapping up our classes of english when we get five texts in a row from Carol -- she was having a rough night... A LOT of personal things that were beginning to take it's toll on her.  She said that Hermana Caldera had called her and she said as they were talking, she explained everything that was going on and Caldera just told her over and over that she needed to call the sisters.  So Carol texted us, which she told us she wanted to wait until Sunday because she felt so much verguenza and didn't want to bother us.  But we dropped everything, called the elders, and drove up 20 to Airdrie and they were able to give her a blessing of comfort. and WOWza... such a beautiful blessing.  She just cried and cried and the spirit was so strong.  It definitely was a tender mercy from the Lord and an experience I'll never forget.  But I KNOW... if I hadn't of followed that first prompting to knock that door first, we wouldn't have seen Hermano Caldera.  And I KNOW if I hadn't had listened to the spirit tell me to let him know Carol and Alfonzo were in town, Hermana would not have called Carol and told her to recieve a blessing from the missionaries.  Hopefully that long chain of events makes sense haha... but it was so cool! The Lord is up there in the heavens putting every piece of our lives together. Every single moment counts, and we've been promised that if we are worthy, we will have the Holy Ghost guiding us in every moment.  Oh and Carol and Alfonoz and their kids came to church on Sunday - wahoo! :) 

Our other Investigators... Raul and Maria, also from Mexico.  We found got them referred to us from the Madrin Elders who found them tracting.  We were able to teach Maria on Wednesday and had a really really cool lesson with her.  The best part hands down, was at the end when she prayed FOR THE FIRST TIME.  She always would have us pray, because she told us she didn't know how.  Well, by the end of the lesson, we taught her how to pray using the pamphlets, and her prayer was beautiful. She just cried.  When she finished, I looked up and she just had tears streaming down her cheeks.. so of course, I just started crying! Super cool.  Okay... so we set up a return appointment from Sunday.  We could not get ahold of the member we wanted to take.. it was very stressful, because having the perfect member makes all the difference.  So finally, we decided to switch who we were going to bring, and we brought Hermana Eva Gonzalez, Bishop's wife.  We all got there, knocked the door... and Raul answers.  He looks at Eva and Eva looks at him and immedaitly Eva starts crying and he just starts saying "Ay Senora Eva!" and she just says over and over "Raul!" THEY KNEW EACH OTHER.  Whaaaat the!! They had been friends from work and hadn't seen each other in forever, and Eva used to always invite them to church activties.. Literally mine and Hermana Morgan's jaws just dropped.  We were shocked! It was crazy and we had a killer lesson.  At the end of the lesson... once again, the Spirit told me to give him a Plan of Salvation pamphlet... at first I tried to ignore the prompting (I dont' konw why I keep trying to ignore the promptings, you would think I had learned by now.....) but the prompting was too strong. So while it was all quiet, I reach into my Mary - Poppin's bag to find a pamphlet, pull it out, and hand it to him.  And Raul starts freaking out! And says "esperen!" and runs to get this backpack.  He pulls out the same foto that's on the POS pamphlet, except his foto is all torn and it's smaller and it's super super old.  He told us the story of how he was in Montreal and found this pass alongcard (from the Mormon church, woot!) put it in his backpack, and has kept it ever since! He was so amazed... ah the spirit! I'm tellin you.. you gotta follow Him!!

Long email, BUT those were two really amazing experiences I had this week.  The Lord is here every step of this work.. I have such a strong testimony of that! \ I know I'm exactly where I need to be.

Hermana Dean 

02/29/16 Pictures

 Hermana y Hermano Barbazo from Argentina y Mexico
Nose Hill hike 

 La familia Osma from Spain and Colombia 
The prettiest city
 Cindy and Lucy from Nicaragua.. Less actives that we visit every week
Late night (9:45) chats with Hermana Morgan... she's great! 
Kaylie Mejia... she is my favorite! 
 Bryan our new convert
Hermana Morgan made me breakfast this morning :)